What Does Ketamine Therapy Feel Like?

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Ketamine is grabbing the world’s attention due to its potential to treat anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD, OCD, treatment-resistant depression, and many other mental health conditions. If you’ve ever wondered, what does ketamine therapy feel like?, and are looking for an alternative treatment to traditional antidepressants for your mental health condition, consider ketamine as the best option.

But you may wonder what IV ketamine therapy is, and how does it feel to go through this experience? This blog will help you answer all your inquiries and explore the mystical world of ketamine treatmentAt the end of this blog, you will be ready for your recovery journey and feel at ease, with minimum nervousness about venturing into the unknown.


What Is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine was approved as a human anesthetic in the 1970s, even though it was initially identified in 1956 and used as an animal anesthetic. Since then, it has been widely used to sedate patients before surgery. 

The ketamine dissociative characteristics have also made it a popular choice for recreational use. Common names for the ketamine used recreationally include Special K, KitKat, Vitamin K, and other slang expressions.

In recent years, ketamine has gained popularity in treating specific mental health conditions. Many wonder, “what does ketamine therapy feel like? Ketamine therapy has shown promising results when used in low doses to treat mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and OCD.


In 2019, FDA approved esketamine (Spravato) for treatment-resistant depression. Patients are not permitted to use it at home and must utilize it under close medical supervision. Ketamine is FDA-approved as an anesthetic. However, it is off-label for its therapeutic uses. 

When a medication is prescribed for purposes other than those for which it was designed, this is known as using a drug off-label. Using a medicine off-label is considered legal and safe in medical practice as doctors know that medicines can also be effective for other purposes. Ketamine has become a widely used and evidence-based treatment, and many people find their therapy a rewarding healing process.


Types Of Ketamine Treatment

For therapeutic purposes, ketamine can be administered intravenously (IV), intramuscularly (IM), orally as a pill, or nasally in the form of a spray. All ketamine treatment methods are administered under the supervision of trained medical personnel except for pills which can be self-administered.


Ketamine Therapy: Mechanism Of Action

There are many studies that show that ketamine has the potential to change the brain’s adaptability, almost like rewiring it. Ketamine inhibits the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, a brain receptor that controls mood, cognition, and pain perception. Ketamine therapy also causes synaptogenesis or the formation of new connections between brain cells.


These new neural pathways affect a person’s ability to change thought and behavior patterns linked to depression. Many patients who get ketamine therapy have reported relief in their symptoms within hours to days of treatment, suggesting that ketamine therapy has rapid-acting antidepressant benefits.


How Does Ketamine Feel Like?

Before delving into the feeling of ketamine therapy people can have during a session, it’s essential to understand the environment in which it takes place. Two main settings need to be considered before starting ketamine infusion therapy: the mindset of the patient and the physical environment where therapy will be carried out. 

Patient’s Mindset

Before the infusion, being well-prepared and in a tranquil state of mind is essential. You should set your mind stress-free by thinking positively about your ketamine experience. You should also ensure to complete all arrangements in the days leading up to your appointment. By finishing your tasks beforehand, you can return home after the session without stressing about work or responsibilities.


It would help if you also had a specific intention or the purpose of the treatment in your mind. You can focus on the treatment by embodying and possessing the desired outcome.

You could, for instance, set the intention to be joyful, tranquil, or pain-free. This intent will serve as the basis for the ketamine therapy experience. Focusing on your intention during this experience can be a foundation you need on the path to restoration.

Physical Environment

The physical environment also affects the experiences people have during the session. 

Supporting and Trustworthy Staff

During your ketamine infusion therapy session, you must want to feel safe and supported. Having trustworthy people around you will calm your mind and body. Knowing that you are not alone and can seek assistance when feeling challenged or afraid can produce the optimal therapeutic response. 

Treatment Space 

Most of the Ketamine Clinics provide a private treatment chamber. You may choose to have a friend or relative for your emotional support. A nurse will also remain in the room throughout your treatment to ensure your safety and comfort. The treatment room in Ketamine clinics are designed to be calming and adaptable to a person’s requirements.


You will have access to a large recliner to rest or lie down during treatment, a slumber mask, adjustable lights, calming music, or any media equipment. Your emotional and physical comfort is of utmost importance for a successful ketamine therapy session.


The IV Ketamine Therapy Experience

Infusions of ketamine administered intravenously typically last about 40 minutes. On average, it takes five to ten minutes for the effects of a ketamine infusion to manifest.  What a patient experiences during a ketamine infusion highly depends on how much ketamine is administered.

When a patient receives an infusion for the first time, the initial dose is typically the smallest quantity recommended (usually 0.5 mg of ketamine per kilogram of body weight).


Depending on the dosage, the treatment duration varies, but most sessions last between forty minutes and two hours. The dosage and duration of the session are tailored to each individual’s requirements and medical history.

The effects of ketamine start to become apparent within minutes of initiating the infusion. Every person has a unique experience of ketamine treatment, and it could not be representative of what is typical for everyone.

However, some common features are present in most experiences, including a dissociative state, emotional release, enhanced awareness, altered sensory perception, and spiritual and mystical elements. 

The Dissociative State

The dissociative state is one of the most distinguishing experiences of ketamine therapy. Dissociation is an altered state of consciousness in which a person can become disconnected from their thoughts, emotions, memories, and even their sense of identity. 


Dissociation, often described by those wondering what ketamine therapy feels like, is comparable to the sensation of profound meditation, in which one can be present at the moment and observe without attempting to exert control. Typically, dissociation is described as a soothing or liberating sensation.

The term “dissociative” is sometimes misconstrued and misused. The term dissociative is sometimes conflated with the psychological phenomenon of dissociative disorder symptoms. 

When discussing the effects of ketamine, especially when pondering “what does ketamine therapy feel like”, the term dissociative refers to the drug’s ability to induce a state in which a person is no longer associated with their normal cognitive processes and the sensation of being in their physical body.

It is believed that dissociation from ketamine feels like a pleasurable or neutral experience that allows for processing emotions without feeling overwhelmed. 

Emotional Release

Participants in ketamine treatment may experience a profound release of repressed emotions and memories. Some people experience intense emotions, whereas others experience a soothing catharsis.

Ketamine may induce feelings of happiness or joy. For depressed patients, the euphoria induced by ketamine treatment can feel like an abrupt release from the daily burden of pain and anxiety. 

The drug’s unique ability to remove emotional barriers may enable patients to confront unresolved traumas and delve into issues that conventional therapy may have difficulty addressing.


Enhanced Awareness

Ketamine therapy has reportedly enhanced people’s capacity for self-reflection, resulting in improved awareness and insights. Many people see their life, relationships, and mental processes differently after the treatment. Often, this newly discovered clarity leads to an improved feeling of self-awareness and self-compassion.

This new perspective on life helps people handle challenging emotions or memories they ordinarily avoid. For those wondering ‘what does ketamine therapy feel like?’, this self-awareness is a crucial stage in processing emotions and starting the healing process.

Altered Sensory Perception

People may have altered sensory perceptions while receiving ketamine infusion therapy. Colors may appear more vibrant, noises are louder, and even ordinary things acquire new importance. This more intense sensory feeling of ketamine can be powerful and bizarre. 


The Spiritual And Mystical Element

Ketamine therapy may cause mystical or spiritual experiences for certain people. These spiritual qualities are extremely individualized and differ from person to person.

Most patients tolerate these feelings very well, describing them as spiritual or pleasurable. People link it with gaining more insight or creativity. Patients frequently say that they feel incredibly relieved after having this experience.


How Do You Feel After Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

There are about 20-minute waiting and monitoring periods after the session to ensure you are stable and prepared to return home safely. Everyone’s experience with the infusion differs in terms of how long it takes the ketamine effect to subside completely. But you should anticipate feeling groggy or “off” for at least a few hours.

It would be best if you made plans to avoid driving or doing anything else that requires you to be awake for the remainder of the day. After your session, you might wonder, ‘what does ketamine therapy feel like?’ As your anxiety and depressive symptoms subside, you start to feel more social, pick up old hobbies, or tackle the tasks you’ve been ignoring.


It is also a good time to think about integration therapy to transform your temporary symptom relief into a long-term lifestyle.


Ketamine Therapy Side Effects

Although most people who receive ketamine infusions report positive results, it’s crucial to be informed of all the potential side effects. There are uncommon negative experiences such as anxiety, nausea, sleepiness, dizziness, impaired coordination, high blood pressure, and heart rate. These symptoms, if occur, are typically transient and end fully within a couple of hours after the infusion.  


Is Ketamine Safe?

Ketamine treatment for therapeutic purposes is generally considered risk-free when taken under medical supervision and in a controlled environment. However, if you’re wondering ‘what does ketamine therapy feel like?’, it’s essential to note that due to its potential for abuse, ketamine is still treated as a controlled substance.

Ketamine therapy can also be negatively associated with certain medicines and physical conditions, so discussing your mental health and medical history with the healthcare provider before beginning such treatment is essential.



Ketamine therapy is a unique and a life-changing experience for individuals seeking relief from mental health challenges. Each person experiences ketamine sessions differently, and these feelings are deeply personal.

It’s important to note that the effects of ketamine are not permanent, and the therapy is most effective when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes ongoing therapeutic support. As ketamine treatment continues to evolve and gain recognition, further research will shed light on its potential and limitations.

If you or someone you know is considering ketamine therapy, you might be wondering, ‘what does ketamine therapy feel like?’ It is crucial to consult with a qualified mental health professional to determine if it is the right option for your specific needs and circumstances.

Remember, healing is a gradual process, and embracing the support of trained professionals and loved ones can make all the difference on this extraordinary journey of self-discovery and growth.


Ketamine Infusion Therapy At Neuroglow Clinic

Are you considering getting ketamine treatment for anxiety, OCD, or depression? At Neuroglow Clinic, ketamine therapy has played a significant role in many patients’ journeys to happiness and healthy life.

You will receive the best care at the Neuroglow Clinic in a safe, welcoming environment. Our specialized team will make every effort to make you feel comfortable and welcome and make your experience pleasant at the Neuroglow Clinic.


During ketamine infusion session, there are many facilities to make you comfortable which include:

  • A professional Ketamine Clinic nurse to handle any queries or concerns
  • Software to track your progress 
  • A comfortable sitting setup with recliners
  • Noise-canceling headphones with ketamine therapy-enhancing music 

We are cautious about the possible side effects of ketamine therapy as well, so we use medication when it’s really necessary to treat conditions like high blood pressure, nausea, or anxiety. Our patients only leave our clinic once one of our staff members has determined they are stable and ready to go.

We also provide two complimentary consultations with our ketamine integration specialist. We believe combining ketamine therapy with integration can advance treatment to new heights!

We believe that everyone deserves to live a happy, fulfilling life free from mental illness. Ketamine therapy may offer a promising future for your health, mind, and soul.

Please call us at 1-800-975-3859 



How does ketamine make you feel?

Each person’s experience with ketamine therapy can be different. Hence no single person’s experience can be used to generalize about everyone else. However, the commonly reported feelings associated with ketamine therapy are a dissociative condition, emotional release, increased awareness, change in sensory perception, and spiritual and mystical qualities.


What does a ketamine high feel like?

Ketamine treatment has minimum risks when used at low doses in a controlled environment. However, large-dose abuse can also result in intense visual hallucinations heightened by external stimuli. Deep unconsciousness and coma are possible. Vivid dreams and an “out-of-body,” or “near-death” hallucinogenic experience are reportedly produced when greater doses of ketamine are overused. This high dose ketamine feeling is also termed as K-hole. 


What does low dose ketamine feel like?

Ketamine is considered an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms when administered in a low dose. In lower doses, it reduces negative thought patterns, enhances the control of unpleasant emotions, and reduces physical and psychological suffering for many people. During that treatment a person may experience dissociation, increased awareness, change in sensory perception, and spiritual and mystical feelings.


Can ketamine make you feel worse?

Ketamine is also used recreationally to generate euphoric and dissociative effects, which users have described as having out-of-body experiences.The following negative ketamine side effects could be seen when it is used as an overdose:

  • Shallow breathing 
  • Slow heartbeat with low blood pressure
  • Seizure
  • The state of coma


How do you feel after ketamine infusion?

You should expect to feel sluggish or “off” for at least a few hours after the ketamine infusion. It would be best if you made plans to avoid driving or doing anything else that requires you to stay awake for the rest of the day.  As your anxiety and depression symptoms fade after ketamine therapy, you will feel more social, pick up old hobbies, or can complete your task.

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Momin Zafarullah
Momin Zafarullah
He is a board-certified anesthesia provider experienced in diverse Texas medical settings, trained at UT Austin, Creighton, and Barry University.